From the Collections of Harvard College Library, Events and Exhibitions 2016


Image Yellowstone National Park, compliments of the Northern Pacific Railway HOLLIS number 013823063

Yellowstone National Park, compliments of the
Northern Pacific Railway

The Land Remains: A century of conservation in America’s National Parks
The maps in this exhibition showcase units of the National Park Service in all stages of their history. Many date from before the idea of the government preserving areas of natural beauty or cultural significance had even formed. Many are from the first days of preservation of a site. Some show the process of creating a park and the struggle to protect and preserve hallowed ground while still allowing in the people for whom it is preserved. We hope that these maps will remind you of the beauty and importance of this country’s natural and cultural treasures, and inspire you to #FindYourPark.

Map Gallery Hall, Pusey Library


Henry James

Undated photograph inscribed “Your affectionate old friend, Henry James.”

Henry James: Commemoration
“We possess a great man most when we begin to look at him through the plate glass of death“

Henry James (1843-1916) penned those words as part of his tribute to Robert Browning (1812-1889), when the great Victorian poet was interred in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. Visitors to this Centennial Exhibition can look at James himself through the plate glass of eight display cases, filled with books, manuscripts, photographs, and many other collateral testaments to a great man’s legacy.

In this exhibition you will see some of the many forms through which Henry James obeyed a deeply felt need to eulogize others—and even to commemorate the halting evolution of his own consciousness. While some have alleged that James was drawn to morbid plots and characters in his fiction, in his more personal writing—in his letters and private journals—occasions of mortality more typically provoke an almost Transcendental response, a kind of sacred reflex, urging him to hallow the memory of those he has lost.

As a fitting complement in this the centenary year of James’s passing, the exhibition also allows viewers to see (and hear) how others were moved to commemorate the author after his death. It would take several decades until a “James Revival” began in earnest, initiated in no small way by Harvard Professor F. O. Matthiessen, who taught the English Department’s first course devoted to the author; but by publishing a series of path-breaking books devoted to James’s life and art, Matthiessen brought others to a broader and more intelligent understanding of the writer’s achievement.

As Cynthia Ozick has observed (with a certain sense of awe), “with the passing of each new decade, James becomes more and more our contemporary—it is as if our own sensibilities are only just catching up with his.”

Michael Anesko, Guest Curator

Edison and Newman Room, Houghton Library


Portrait of Charlotte Brontë, from drawing by George Richmond, 1850 MS Am 2016 (5)

Portrait of Charlotte Brontë, from drawing by George Richmond, 1850 MS Am 2016 (5) Bequest of Annie Adams Fields, 1915

“The Genius C.B.”: Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1855
Despite a tragic young life, punctuated by the deaths of her mother and siblings, Charlotte Brontë grew to be one of the most important writers of the Victorian period. Her semi-autobiographical novel Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under a pseudonym, turned her into a reluctant celebrity, and the revolutionary work has influenced countless writers and artists. This exhibition includes juvenilia, manuscripts and first editions, and examples of the influence Brontë’s work.

Amy Lowell Room cases, Houghton Library


Theodore Roosevelt opening the second New York State suffrage campaign on Sept. 8, 1917 at Sagamore Hill. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Theodore Roosevelt opening the second
New York State suffrage campaign on
Sept. 8, 1917 at Sagamore Hill. Houghton
Library, Harvard University.

The Bull Moose and the China Cabinet: Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement
Following the Republican Party’s nomination of incumbent William Howard Taft for president in 1912, supporters of Theodore Roosevelt’s candidacy formed the Progressive Party, which centered upon returning power to the people and creating a more equitable country by the right treatment of its citizens. For nearly 100 years, women had been fighting for equal rights on every front—education; labor; and intellectual, moral, legal, and human rights. Roosevelt’s Progressive Party placed women’s suffrage in its official platform. It was the first major political party to do so. This exhibition examines Roosevelt’s evolving position on women’s suffrage, and includes a page from his Harvard senior paper on women’s rights, correspondence, contemporary newspaper accounts and political cartoons, and artifacts documenting the role and influence of the women in Roosevelt’s life.

The exhibition was guest curated by Melanie Bayless Veteto, a student in the Museum Studies program at the Harvard Extension School. For more information, contact

Theodore Roosevelt Gallery, Pusey Library


Calimini, Je suis Charlie // Je suis intouchable. Poster, Eyeka platform

Calimini, Je suis Charlie // Je suis intouchable. Poster, Eyeka platform,
n° 88, France, ©2015

The Charlie Archive at the Harvard Library, 2015–
The attacks of January 7, 8, and 9, 2015 against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris sparked a vigorous debate about fundamental political and ethical issues, such as freedom of expression, the relation between state, religion and society, respect for other beliefs and perspectives, inequality, and the disenfranchisement of individuals and communities. The Western Languages Division at Widener is currently building a collection of materials produced in the aftermath of these events. The Charlie Archive at the Harvard Library, 2015– contains a wide array of materials, including manuscript, printed, digital, and ephemeral content, from a diverse range of perspectives. The objective of the archive is to document a peculiar moment in the early 21st century when the word “Charlie” all of a sudden took on tragic significance and became charged with conflicting emotions, opinions, and agendas. This exhibition presents a selection of representative materials from the archive, including magazines, books, handmade signs, and digital images.

Lamont Library, Third Floor



The Shepherd Boy Playing the
Short Flute Li Keran shu hua quan ji = Album of Li Keran's calligraphy and paintings. [Tientsin] : Tianjin ren min mei shu chu ban she, 1991 (Fine Arts Library: Rubel | AA607 L688S v 2F)

One Hundred Years of Chinese Piano Music

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the first publication of piano music in China. To commemorate the occasion, the Shanghai Conservatory Press produced a ten-volume anthology of piano works by Chinese composers which documents the evolution of expression from a relatively simple use of pianistic techniques to a gradual assimilation of Western musical styles. This exhibit traces that development by showcasing signature works and personalities along with milestone events in that eventful century of piano music in China.

Please contact Patricia OBrien, with any questions.

French Gallery, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library


Bhakti: Framing Devotion, Mumbai, India, by Javier Aranzales. Special Prize, South Asia Institute.

Bhakti: Framing Devotion, Mumbai, India, by
Javier Aranzales. Special Prize, South Asia Institute

Harvard College
Annual International Photo Contest

Photos taken by Harvard students who have studied, worked, interned, or done research abroad during the past year are on exhibit. For more information on the contest, see the photo contest page.

Level B, first and third floor display cases,
Lamont Library (Hours)
For details contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455


Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles.

Doyle, A. Conan. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of
the Hound of the Baskerville
s. New York, NY: Playmore,
Inc., 1977. Page 8.

2016 Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting
Books or Art

The Philip Hofer prize is awarded each year to students at Harvard whose collections of books or works of art best exemplify the traditions of breadth, coherence, and imagination represented by Philip Hofer, A.B. '21, L.H.D. '67, founder and first Curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts in the Houghton Library and Secretary of the Fogg Art Museum. The prize, which is to encourage student interest in collecting, was established in 1987 by Melvin R. Seiden, A.B. '52, L.L.B. '55. Students competing for the prize submit an annotated list or bibliography and an essay describing the scope, contents, and goal of the collection. On exhibition are samples of this year’s first and second prize winning collections, The Lost and Found Works of Dr. John H. Watson, submitted by Helen X. Yang, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Class of 2016, and Harry Potter Chinese Forgeries, submitted by Christopher J. Foster, Graduate Student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Third floor display cases, Lamont Library,
For details, contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455


2015 Undergraduate Book Collectiong Prize

Walter, Eugene. Jennie the Watercress Girl. Mobile, AL: The National Willoughby Institute, 1946.

2016 Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize
Established in 1977, the Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting recognizes and encourages book collecting by undergraduates at Harvard. Students competing for the annual prize submit an annotated bibliography and an essay on their collecting efforts, the influence of mentors, the experience of searching for, organizing and caring for items, and the future direction of the collection. On display are samplings of the collections of this year’s prize-winning entries, along with personal commentary.

Second and third floor display cases, Lamont Library
For details, contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455


There are no lectures scheduled at this time. Please check back.

Continuing Exhibitions

Mercator Globes
Exhibition includes Gerard Mercator's terrestrial (1541) and celestial (1551) globes that reflect new discoveries in world geography and cosmography as well as new techniques in charting, printing, and globe making. Only 22 matched pairs survive, Harvard's being the only matched pair in America.

Mercator Case, Map Gallery Hall
For details call the Map Collection at 617-495-2417